Entering the world of fatherhood is exciting, terrifying and emotionally exhausting. Dads, it’s time to come to realize that you are pregnant, too…
A soon to be mom begins to prepare herself for motherhood by looking at her eating habits, breast or bottle feeding, cleaning, making sure baby has everything they’ll need for at least 6 months and so much more. Dad… for you, it’s a little different…
Crunching the numbers, painting the nursery and making sure mom-to-be has everything she needs.
When you start entering into that final trimester, so much is going to be running through your brain you won’t know what to do with it! So, I have compiled a little advice to that EVERY soon-be-daddy needs to know.
Hopefully, this will help get you through all the crazy and ready for that new baby!
1.) Forgive yourself for those moments of doubt
Sometimes, the thought “Oh shit, I have made a huge mistake! Why in the world did I want a kid in the first place?!” will creep into your mind.
It’s okay! It’s normal.
Forgive yourself for these occasional moments of self-doubt and, from time to time, let yourself mourn your pre-parenthood life. Trust me, these moments will be short-lived.
2.) You can still travel with baby!
For most, the idea of traveling with a baby is intimidating and a bit scary, but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, when a child is only three months, a bottle or boob is all you really need to keep them entertained.
If you have the energy and mom is feeling up to, hit the road, board a plane or take the train to begin those exciting family adventures! Remember, you life it’s over because you had a baby. It’s just different. You can still dream big. Just be sure to include your new little one and their needs into that big dream!! (Another Article for Another Day!!)
3.) Best investment you’ll ever make: a rechargeable, cordless hand vacuum
Much of your time will be spent getting tiny, foreign objects off the floor. At first, it will be all sorts of bodily fluids, but soon enough, you’re going to be dealing with everything from gold fish to broken crayons.
Later, the list will grow to include things like glitter, dirt, forgotten bacon, discarded snacks, fallen stickers and pretty much anything that can be shredded by those tiny, jam covered hands.
With that being said, do you want to have to drag out that clunky, upright vacuum 5 or 6 times a day? I wouldn’t… A simple, cordless handheld will save you time, energy and frustration!
4.) The Microwave
It’s perfectly acceptable to make an entire dinner in the microwave. That’s it.
5.) Act like a grown-up
Frustration, exhaustion and short patience are a part of parenthood. It’s okay to get overwhelmed, we all do, but throwing a fit of fury like a child is NOT the way to handle it.
Breathe deeply and never let yourself escalate to the level of irrational fury that your little one occasionally inhabits. A two-year-old has the right to act like a child; you do not.
6.) Take a break
There’s a weird lag time between when a child is ready to be left with someone (which is pretty much once they can bottle-feed or go four hours between nursing) and when the parents are ready to leave them (which is often much later).
Fatigue and frustration are cumulative, and you need a break long before you realize you need one. Your wife may (or may not) protest, but do your best to talk her into letting you take her out on a brief date.
Everything looks more manageable and more joyful after a good meal and a glass of wine.
7.) Hand-me-downs are more than okay
Nothing is more saddening than seeing a child splatter poop up their back all over the fresh clothes you just put on them (trust me, it happens a lot!). Secondhand clothes takes makes those a moments a bit less agonizing.
Plus, hand-me-downs can save tons of bucks and is better for the environment!
8.) Make time for the other relationships in your life
Seeing you in the role of good friend or devoted spouse is a way for your kids to learn what it means to actually be a good friend or devoted spouse.
Not only that, taking those “guy nights” or having date nights will help keep the sanity and will bring you back to who you are as a man, not just as a dad.
9.) There’s no such thing as using too many wipes
Don’t be stingy. Use the wipes. Do us all a favor, use enough to get the job done and then one extra just for your hands.
Trust me, getting the stench of crap off your hands is not nearly as impossible as cleaning a poop blast while trying to use every corner of the towelette so that you use less…
10.) You’re not the “backup parent.” You’re a father
You’re a full, equal partner in turning a small, fragile creature into a loving, decent, functioning citizen of society. Be informed, aggressively involved and as in love as you’re capable of letting yourself be.
There you have it…
It’s just a little advice from me to you.
Make mistakes. Accept them. Grow from them.
Welcome to fatherhood!